Home » News: Data shows Gastronomy tourism is transforming travel trends as 80% of travellers research food and drinks destinations before a trip

News: Data shows Gastronomy tourism is transforming travel trends as 80% of travellers research food and drinks destinations before a trip

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gastronomy tourism

Gastronomy Tourism also known as food tourism is gaining prominence amongst travel enthusiasts as new data shows 80% of travellers will research food and drinks in a location before heading off on their travels.

According to news24.com, the new international data from Global Food Tourism travellers now conduct research on food and drinks in a location before heading off on their travels, a shift from solely relying on Instagram.

The data comes from an emerging trend that sees more and more people looking for food and culinary experiences to determine what destination to travel to. The rise in food tourism (also known as gastronomy tourism) has transformed travel, with people now seeking immersive culinary experiences.

READ: News: UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism – Seizing the Power of Technology

One of the destinations hailed for this type of travel is Thailand, which is renowned for its rich gastronomic heritage.

According to Sadudee Sangnil, Director at The Tourism Authority of Thailand in London, Thailand is an ideal destination for South Africans because its shared culinary interests merge with vibrant flavours and traditions. Sangnil explains that the rise of food tourism has transformed how people travel and experience different cultures.

“Rather than solely focusing on famous landmarks or tourist attractions, travellers now seek immersive culinary experiences that allow them to explore a destination’s food culture. Thai cuisine, in particular, has gained international recognition because of this and offers an authentic culinary journey that crosses borders, making it a delightful adventure for South African food enthusiasts.”

Sangnil said South Africans are known for their love of spice and zest, which is why she believes Thai cuisine resonates exceptionally well with their palates.

“Apart from the delicious dishes that can be enjoyed in restaurants, Thailand’s gastronomic appeal extends to its energetic street food culture, which is also big in South Africa. The vibrant food markets that are perfectly positioned on the streets of Bangkok, and in other cities, draw visitors’ attention with their tempting selection of food stalls.”

“Thailand’s fusion of diverse flavours, vibrant food markets, and cultural wonders make it an ideal destination for South Africans to indulge their passion for food, all while exploring the culinary treasures of the Land of Smiles.”

She also recommended some restaurants for South Africans to try on their next trip to the tropical Southeast Asian country.

1. Jay Fai
Jay Fai in Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, was founded in the 1980s by Supinya Junsuta. The restaurant was awarded a one-Micheline star rating in 2018. It serves street food and is one of Bangkok’s most famous street food restaurants.

2. Koh Kood Tree Pods
Koh Kood Pods take fine dining to remarkable new heights. To get to this one-of-a-kind Thai restaurant, customers enter a bamboo pod on the forest floor and are lifted 5 meters above the earth into Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest. Guests can choose from a selection of gourmet or luxury picnics in the air. The Luxury Picnic can be combined with champagne and prosecco tastings.

3. Cave Dining at The Grotto, Rayavadee
The Grotto is hidden beneath an ancient limestone rock on the outskirts of the beautiful Phranang Beach and offers a unique cave-eating experience. At Rayavadee’s premier eating restaurants, guests can dine in a cave while enjoying seaside views.

4. Elephant camp dinner
The Elephant Camp dining experience combines African-inspired décor with artisanal culinary techniques inspired by the global food scene. A ‘Zen vibe’ flows through the dining spaces, providing a refined and cozy environment while being wild and thrilling. The dining experience offers a sensory journey of taste, scent, and sight, resulting in complete decadence.

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